Leaked documents regarding the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony allege that Nintendo pulled multiple songs and was heavily involved in previous plans for the introduction.
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The site alleges that this was perhaps due to other Nintendo-themed content being removed by Tokyo Olympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki, who wanted to take the ceremony in a completely different direction to the predecessor he replaced in December 2020.
At first when I was watching live I did tweet "Where is the Nintendo music? Where is Nintendo?" because it was sort of weird that with video game music being featured, the biggest traditional video game company in Japan by far wasn't included.
— Stealth (@Stealth40k) July 28, 2021
The magazine describes plans in an early proposal for Lady Gaga to travel down an iconic Mario warp pipe and featured an appearance from a CGI Mario. Nintendo allegedly contributed heavily to an “8-bit world of video games” theme, which Shigeru Miyamoto was reportedly in charge of.
While Nintendo seemingly removed these plans earlier on, a music setlist dated for June 16 – just over a month before the ceremony took place – appears to show that the main theme of The Legend Of Zelda, as well as several Mario songs and the Pokémon theme song – were still meant to be included in the final version.
Bunshun speculates that turbulent changes and cuts regarding the ceremony left Nintendo with “mixed feelings”, causing the company to entirely pull all of their remaining content from the Olympics.
Plans for Nintendo’s involvement seem to date back to Rio 2016, which involved Shinzo Abe – who was, at the time, the Prime Minister of Japan – emerging from a warp pipe similar to the ones that displayed in the leaked proposals.
In other news, Sony CEO Jim Ryan has admitted it will be “some time” before PS5 shortages can be resolved, going on to say the issues made him “feel bad”.